New flour reminder: what parents need to know
Is there anything more frustrating than asking your child to do something simple like put on their shoes (for literally the 12th time) without an answer? Repeating yourself over and over can make you feel like your child doesn’t respect you. It can also be downright exhausting when it happens over and over again throughout the day. Fortunately, there is a solution to repeat yourself throughout the day. Read on to learn parenting strategies to make your child listen to you the first time you say or ask something, Mom.
Why it doesn’t work to repeat yourself to your child
Repeating yourself does not work for several reasons. One of the most important is that it sends the message to your child that they don’t need to listen to the first time.
Does the following scenario sound familiar to you?
You in a gentle, loving tone: “Wash your hands for dinner, please.”
A little more firmly, but still wonderfully calm: “Wash your hands. It’s time.
With a marked increase in volume: “Wash your hands NOW. I know you can hear me!
When you do this gradually increase the volume and the seriousness, it teaches your child that he does not have to do as you say when you ask calmly. They can wait for you to think so, essentially until you scream or show obvious signs of frustration and distress.
This leads to the other big problem with repetition: anger. It’s quite natural, if not inevitable, to become upset or angry when you repeat yourself over and over again about every little thing. No matter how many times you promise to keep your cool, it’s often not possible when you make such reasonable requests and are completely ignored.
Repeating yourself is not good for you or your relationship with your child. So what is the alternative?
How to make your child listen
There are several techniques you can use to help your child listen to the first time. Now it bears repeating:
1. Wait until you get their attention
Go over to your child, wait for a break from what he is doing, and put a hand on his shoulder. Make eye contact. When you have their full attention, make your request.
They can always say “no”, but they probably won’t pretend you never spoke. It’s much harder to ignore someone who is looking you straight in the eye.
2. Follow immediately
If you know your child has heard you but isn’t responding, go over to them and help them physically, right away.
It might look like this:
“Johnny, please put your shoes on. It’s time to go to school. “
Johnny looks at you and smiles, then starts playing again.
While walking calmly towards him, “I see you need a little help today. I can help you put on your shoes.”
They may accept your help, or they may decide that they want to do it themselves now that they see that there is no choice for the shoes.
The key to it is to stay calm. Yes, it can be boring to help your child do something that they are perfectly capable of doing on their own. But over time, they’ll learn you’re serious, and they’re more likely to comply the first time you ask them.
It’s so easy to be in a rush and have your kid do things while you’re multitasking. I often find myself asking my son to put his toys away and wash his hands while I prepare his lunch or go get socks and shoes while I find my keys. Unfortunately, this usually doesn’t work.
It is often much faster, in the end, to slow down and focus only on the request you are making, just a few seconds.
Try saying your child’s name, then take a break. Make eye contact and slowly ask for what you want. Stay silent and maintain eye contact until they respond. It may help to count to five in your head.
It’s easy to forget that young children process things much slower than us. Sometimes they just need us to slow down.
The break also involves waiting. This indicates that you expect them to do what you asked, which makes it much more likely that they will.
4. Use a shortcut
Try using one or two words to give a reminder, instead of repeating a whole request and explanation. If your rule is that your child brings their dishes to the sink after every meal, you don’t have to repeat the rule and the whole reasoning every time. It is probably boring for you and your child.
Try saying “Charlie, plate!” ” instead of. A simple reminder of a word is often all they will need.
5. Agree and practice on an answer
Sometimes your child can hear you and may even intend to comply after finishing what they are doing, but they are not responding. No eye contact, no “Yes, mom” nothing.
Just as young children need to learn to say “please” and “thank you,” sometimes they need a little help learning to respond verbally when you ask them to do something.
Tell your child how you would like them to respond. You could ask them to say “Yes, mom” or just “Okay”.
Have fun practicing together, maybe while you make increasingly silly requests:
“Charlie, please put your red hat on your teddy bear.”
“Charlie, please go around in circles and sing the ABCs.”
This kind of little game can help your child practice listening and is much more fun than a lecture.
6. Discuss expectations in advance
If there is a situation that is new for your child or that you think is difficult for him, discuss the expectations in advance.
I recently started taking a music class with my 2 year old son and quickly realized he didn’t understand the difference between dancing and running or galloping around the room to music. This was a bit of a problem as the class includes babies and younger children.
The week after the first class, we practiced different types of dances which would be safe. We talked about the importance of walking during our stay. I told him that I would remind him by saying “walk his feet” if he forgot, and we practiced this at home.
These things made the next lesson a lot smoother. He knew the expectations and understood what I wanted when I called up, which made it easy for him to comply.
Repeating doesn’t work and it can get on your nerves. Keep that energy, mom. There are plenty of other times when you will need it.
You can make small changes to the way you ask your child to do something to help him listen the first time. Not only is this more effective, but it can turn what would have been a frustrating encounter into a bonding encounter – bring the extra hugs!